Film Theory In Film Study

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Film-theory is in some aspects a very fickle research field. It concerns itself with a relatively new technology and as an academic field it does not exactly stand on its own. Like literature, academic research in film has to be a combination of various other research fields to give appropriate answers to the issues and questions of film studies. In a way, experts within film studies have to develop theory from a variety of other fields, such as psychology, sociology, economics or statistics to name a few. That is, if they want to produce theory that can be generalized for film study and as such it seems a gargantuan task. A cornerstone of film studies has been and still is, David Bordwell. Despite the film industry having developed aggressively…show more content…
While I would not argue against the notion that there is some transference of real-life schemata to infer meaning for on-screen actions, Bordwell does not address that, even though film try to emulate realism, in the end they will be fiction – even if they are documentaries as well. Films have a constraint in relation to time, they simply cannot emulate the depth of a real person and the spectator can only do so much to fill in the blanks for characters on-screen, to fulfill the depth of a real person. To give credence to this transference of real schemata, we can look at Theory-of-mind (find source!). A key development as a human to fully develop the social understanding of the intentions of others, which is needed in society. It seems logical then, that this understanding is applied to the fictional characters on-screen. While not strictly a cognitivist term, it would still easily be fit into the schemata of understanding a fictional characters actions and how/why we can identify with them. This term might not be included because even within the cognitivist theorists there is dispute as to how much credence can be given to a similar approach within cinema of Empathy/Simulation (Currie, 2005, 115). If this approach is to be taken however, it has to be assumed that there is…show more content…
Not just a temporal re-ordering of a film, but rather films of a more avant-garde style that cannot be interpreted by previous experience. In a general sense, avant-garde cinema will break conventions and as such it could be explained as their use of unique semiotics, often being what differentiates the films that fall under that category. The conventional production techniques are still used within the Avant-garde, but the stark differences to what normative spectators expect is where we find this kind of disconnect. Usually this comes from the vision of the director, but the issue here is that if it truly is Avant-garde, a spectator can then only truly learn the codified semiotics per director and thus has to re-learn a style with each different director to comprehend the film. Hence a semiotic explanation to this could be argued to be too simplistic, it is not merely acquiring the new code-based schemata, because truly avant-garde films will not have the same codification. It is given that it might be possible to construct a semiotic theory that could deal with the Avant-garde, but it would only work in retrospect, as there would have to be produced enough films within a period of time that are considered Avant-garde for their time, to then gather the data to give some sort general overview

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